Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Dairy South

Dairy South

About this special report

What is the future of dairying in Canterbury and Southland? Both have had exponential growth in the last 40 years, but in recent years questions have been raised about their environmental impact, reflected in growing rules and regulations being imposed. In Canterbury the challenges are water use and nutrient loading, in Southland it is nutrient loading and winter grazing. The two regions have been hit hardest from M bovis, which is also impacting dairy farm management. So, what is the future of farming in these areas?

DairyNZ challenges Southland water quality limits

A study of Environment Southland water quality standards has concluded alternative but acceptable water quality targets can be achieved at a much reduced cost to farming and the regional economy.
A group of farmers stand in a paddock listening to a speaker at a field day.

ECan emissions project showing positive results

A five-year project to help Canterbury dairy farmers reduce their environmental footprint is paying early dividends, with 70% of those in the Selwyn catchment already meeting initial nitrogen loss targets of 30%.

John Van Hout stands in a paddock on his dairy farm with a herd of black and white cows behind him.

Farming with flexibility and control

John van Hout has always been innovative with his nutrient management on his Southland dairy farm, an approach that is about to pay further dividends as regulations on nitrogen use are enforced.

LUDF achieves 50% nitrogen loss reduction

It required a new approach to management, but researchers at the Lincoln University Dairy Farm (LUDF) have halved nitrogen losses as they adjust to farming within a synthetic nitrogen limit of 190kg/ha.
Nicol Horrell stands in a field on rolling farmland.

Southland farmers urged to improve water quality

The sooner farmers start addressing nutrient loss, the easier the transition and the less likely Environment Southland will need to implement punitive measures, chair Nicol Horrell says.